View this blog post “What I Learned at 140 | The Twitter Conference (part 3)” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
Don’t Take the Drive to Manic Feature Explosion.
140 | The Twitter Conference (#140tc) held a session on day one titled “What Makes a Good Twitter App.” It could have been titled “Don’t Take the Drive to Manic Feature Explosion.”
Dom Sogalla (@dom)
helped create Twitter and runs @iPhoneDevCamp
. This is where software developers come together and build an iPhone application over a weekend. The lessons he learned there apply to developing Twitter applications:
- Simplicity – do one thing very well
- Clear focus on specific type of user
- Open source
Next panelist was Loren Brichter (@bits), founder and developer of much-beloved iPhone app Tweetie (which reminds me to finally try it out). He was asked why did Tweetie become so successful. His initial response: “I don’t really know.” After some probing, he offered up the following:
- Listening to user feedback
This last point let to a rich discussion (debate?) as to the role that user feedback should play in defining a product roadmap and feature requests. This is something I’ve witnessed at many a product company – often times, companies and product teams can’t strike the right balance. This panel advised that user feature requests must be balaced with need for overall simplicity / usability. Here here!
They all noted the struggle it is to prioritize a plethora of features and how to best utilize or focus their limited time. (But then again it is a nice problem to have if you are Twitter or even Tweetie that users care enough to request/demand alterations to your product – many/most start-ups would love to struggle with this dilemma).
Lastly the panel suggested caution and “don’t take the manic drive to feature explosion.” Words to live by!
I’m behind . . . more later.
View this blog post “What I Learned at 140 | The Twitter Conference (part 2)” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
I am a Twitter God(ess) and So Can You.
The 2nd panel on day one of the Twitter Conference (#140tc) was titled: “I am a Twitter
God(ess) and So Can You.” It featured Tara Hunt (@missrogue), ijustine and Dave Peck (@davepeck) – I think I figured out which one was the “god”.
The panel was entertaining and engaging (although left me wanting some more practical advise for us that are short of god-like status). Highlight was @missrogue’s list of 40 remarkable tweets, drawn from her list of favorites found here.
There was some debate around automating functions within Twitter – auto-reply, scheduling tweets, etc. Dave Peck has experimented with this, with mixed results. Consensus seemed to be to tread carefully around automating communication or avoid altogether. @missrogue: “Automating tweets is a loss of opportunity.”
My takeway (even if I don’t have 1/2 million followers) is that Twitter should be used to build relationships with conversations, not to spam.
I’m feeling tweety . . . more later.
Also check out Tony Zanders blog post on 140 | The Twitter Conference Overview.
View this blog post “What I Learned at 140 | The Twitter Conference (part 1)” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
Well I survived day one of the Twitter Conference (#140tc) at the Computer History Museum in Mtn View. Some of many highlights:
- 90%+ of the attendees pounding laptops furiously while speakers did their thing – a site for geek eyes
- Seeing my first “webeletrity” (@ijustine) in person – now @GuyKawasaki has been relegated to some 50-year-old Hawaiian I happen to play pick-up ice hockey with
- Witnessing @Scobleizer live – he’s taller but just as friendly and noteworthy as I imagined – I’m not sure why people are so obsessed with the size of his camera lens though
- Meeting many cool and interesting people in person
- Noting the irony of the first Twitter Conference in a building that used to be SGI and is now the Computer History Museum
I think I’ll go back for day two.
One of the day one highlights came early: Alex Payne (@al3x), Twitter API lead was up first.
He noted how Jack Dorsey (@jack) truly recognized the power of “presence” in IM buddy lists and extended it into Twitter. Interesting for me as an ex-AOLer to see how it took someone who wasn’t super close to the ICQ/AIM franchise (as far as I know) could see the opportunity and extend the seed of this idea into a new form.
I loved hearing Alex share how minimalism is a guiding design principle at Twitter. Twitter looks remarkably similar today as Jan 2007.
Twitter UI 01/2007
Alex is in a unique position to see what’s coming as he is actively working with external organizations that are developing applications on Twitter’s API’s. Some of the things he sees coming:
One of the potentially biggest ideas he mentioned was that of a “portable identity.” The major portals – AOL, Google, MSN and Yahoo! all have many years of efforts in building up their own user identity credentials that, in theory, travel around the Internet with a user unlocking a myriad of services as they go. Facebook surely belongs with these firms as well now. In the end, I’ve (perhaps cynically) viewed these efforts as self-serving. The more one vendor is successful, the more they lock out their arch-rivals. Without setting out to do so, Twitter may be actually be in a position to deliver some notion of truly portable identity. Proof? Well 10,000 applications built with their API’s to date is some evidence of momentum.
I’m sleepy . . . more later.
True, North, Strong & Bananas.
Let me attempt to break down the issues at hand:
- Canada elected a minority Conservative government in October.
- The opposition parties, consisting of the Liberals (Moderates), New Democratic Party / NDP (Socialists) and Bloc Quebecois (Separatists) objected to the perceived lack of economic stimulus in a statement made by the Conservatives. (Apparently the Canadian economy is not immune to the toilet bowl swirl of the US market, although there are some differences: a viable banking sector, no real estate market collapse, record airline transportation rates, low government deficits . . . but I digress).
- Many claim the real reason, in addition to pure politics, is that the Conservatives are planning to eliminate public funding of political parties (which is something I’m against – despite what Obama was able to accomplish here without public financing).
- The unholy alliance of Liberals, Socialists and Separatists . . . oh my. . . (where’s a good Green Party Member of Parliament when you could use one?) have signed a pact to vote down the government and asked the Governor General (my friend Bucky claims “she’s hot” but he drank a lot of beer in his youth) to allow them to form the next government. Yes, in Canada they still have to ask a figurehead representative of the Queen (of England that is) permission to rule the land (and use the potty).
- In response the Conservatives have asked the Governor General to delay the opening of parliament until late January. As of today, it appears she has decided that not allowing anyone to legislate or debate in a legitimate forum is the right course of action for Canada.
So what have we learned from this quick look into the Canadian political landscape?
See John Stewart’s now prophetic summary of the lamo cast of Canadian politicians who are playing out this drama . . . . ironically not available in Canada, pity.
Here is my guest blog post on The Savvy Sommelier . . . .
“It’s time for the obligatory blog post about wine to pair with your Thanksgiving feast. But alas it is Thanksgiving eve, the short week has slipped away, you’ve probably bought your wine already and the real Savvy Sommelier has gone out with the girls.
So now that this lowly spouse has grabbed the reigns of this blog, what could I possibly add to the conversation?” Read on . . . .
View this blog post “Veoh Dumping Veoh TV” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
After recently launching a new web-based video player, Veoh is abandoning support for VeohTV. The Veoh Web Player allows you to watch videos of any length in your browser. Previously, on Veoh, any video of more than 30 minutes had to be viewed in VeohTV (which was a hassle for many users).
The Veoh Web Player still involves a download but offers benefits such as being able to view download videos at a time when you are not connected to the Internet.
View this blog post “Cable 2.0 Is (Finally) Upon Us” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
Interesting coverage out the SJ Mercury News today about web video developing into a viable alternative to cable tv. This is very much in line with my post early last month “Why I’ll leave cable t.v. behind . . . .”
With the entry of Sling
, joining other sites such as Hulu
and others, most of what is available on cable is now available on the web. Now I can watch my favorite shows: The Office, Prison Break, Law & Order, Brothers & Sisters, ER, House, The Daily Show and Colbert Report . . . when I want.
The only major hurdle is that I can’t easily watch them on my TV. And watching on the 13″ screen of my MacBook after I’ve been on it all day is not joyful. Worse is attempting to watch on my iPhone. That will change and when it does I won’t miss cable.
View this blog post “Election Prediction: Obama Wins (364)” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
As of 8:30am PDT, my prediction is that Barack Obama will win the election this evening to make U.S. Presidential history.
I have been following the ups and downs of both candidates in the polls for months via Slate’s Poll Tracker ’08 application on my iPhone. Rather than looking at polls that calculate popularity of the candidates on a national level, Poll Tracker takes the latest poll in each state and makes a estimate of electoral college votes. This, in the end, is how the President is elected after all.
Each state and their electoral college votes are placed into one of three categories: safe, lean and tossup.
Here’s how the numbers breakdown and how I ended up with the prediction that Obama will win:
- Obama has 273 electoral college votes that are considered “safe” and another 18 (Virginia and Nevada) that are “leaning” his way. This totals 291. Only 270 are needed to win.
- Conversely McCain has 129 “safe” votes and “12” lean (Arizona and South Dakota); giving him 142 votes.
- 105 electoral college votes are considered “tossups”
Of the 105 “tossup” states, using the latest poll numbers in each state, I predict the following:
- Obama wins: Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Missouri (adding an additional 73 electoral college votes to Obama)
- McCain wins: North Dakota, Montana, Georgia and Indiana (adding an additional 32 electoral college votes to McCain)
So if the “tossup” states fall as predicted above the final election tally will be:
- Obama/Biden 364
- McCain/Palin 174
Obama will win handily. Let the voting begin and (all) votes be counted!
View this blog post “Look Important With FakeCalls” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
I first traveled to Brazil some 13 years ago on a business study trip. At that time the Brazilian cellular industry was taking off. We observed a couple of the interesting dynamics that contrasted the Brazilian experience with that of North America. One was that people were bypassing landlines altogether, rather investing in a cellular phone as their only and exclusive phone number. Two, for people who couldn’t afford an actual cellular phone, they could purchase a “virtual” number which provided them a phone number and voice mail. The voice mail could be accessed via a pay phone and presumably any message could be returned via this manner as well. In effect, this represented a low-cost, virtual answering service. (I don’t expect this type of service exists much anymore).
The most interesting service we learned about at this time was a service that would call you on your cell phone at a pre-arranged time. It was a way for Brazilians who could afford a cell phone back then to look important in front of friends, business colleagues and dates. Nothing like having to interrupt an in-person conversation to take a very important call. Of course there was no one on the other line.
With the prevalence of cellular phones in much of the world today, the last thing most people need is their cell phone to ring in order to impress. (Often, it has the opposite effect). However there are times when you’d like to extract yourself from an awkward situation. That’s were FakeCalls app for the iPhone comes in. It mimics the phone call receiving process on the iPhone. Load up the app, set the time you’d like to receive a call and after that amount of time passes . . . voila, your phone starts ringing and vibrating indicating an incoming call. See VentureBeat’s coverage of FakeCalls
Best way to get out of mind-numbing business meetings, family dinners or blind dates that have gone awry!
View this blog post “Monetization of Online Video” on my new blog site at SmokeJumperStrategy.com/blog.
News covered by TechCruch that MySpace has implemented a system that allows them to automatically identify any uploaded video clip from shows produced by MTV. The ad platform, called Auditude, displays an overlay at the bottom of the screen when a clip is played. This identifies which episode the clip originally came from, air-date and links to where users can buy the entire episode. Read coverage . . .